[Coral-List] Listing Criteria Observation (Douglas Fenner) / rely solely on captive culture

Michael Tlusty mtlusty at neaq.org
Fri Dec 28 12:54:18 EST 2012

Douglas Fenner wrote: "I think that as people get serious about planning
for these species, they will quickly realize the importance of captive

Captive breeding is a crucial tool available to help prevent endangered
species from disappearing. However, it is not fail-safe. North American
aquariums and zoos have been involved in holding African rift lake
cichlids that are extinct in the wild, and the problem is that they now
have a mycobacterium that is not native to Africa, and hence cannot be
released. The other issue is that if a species is removed from the wild,
and even if fully captively cultured, will there be the same value of
the extant ecosystem? What if there is a system collapse and that means
a species, even if saved, can never be returned. Therefore, we need to
be thoughtful of this path, and ideally work so that we never let
ecosystems degrade enough to where we need to make such a difficult


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